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OU student senate passes resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day

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Indigenize OU

Jesse Robbins, Native American studies senior, Sydne Gray, philosophy sophomore, and history of science program doctoral student Ashley McCray celebrate after their proposal was passed with unanimous consent in the student senate. The proposal moved to have the University recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous People's Day. 

Following the writing of a formal resolution, OU native students and the Graduate Student Senate came together to pass a resolution Sunday night to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on campus.

During the GSS meeting Sunday night, Indigenize OU presented its formal resolution, co-written by members of GSS and the Undergraduate Student Congress, to recognize the holiday on the second Monday of October.

This year, the holiday will fall on Columbus Day, Oct. 12. Columbus Day is not formally recognized on campus, Sydne Gray of student group Indigenize OU said.

Gray stood in front of the senate and explained the premise of the proposition, and what she and the rest of Indigenize OU have planned for the holiday.

"This proposition is truly to gain support among our community and for OU to officially recognize this holiday on campus," Gray said. She said funding would be presented so that activities and events could be held on the South Oval on the holiday.

“We were thinking of bringing a lot of student bodies and departments, such as CAC and UPB and student organizations, together for a celebratory holiday with traditional food, dances and modern culture,” Ashley McCray of Indigenize OU said.

This wouldn’t just be traditional, but modern as well, McCray said.

During the question period of the proposition, a friendly discussion was held on what the ultimate goal of the resolution is.

“We proposed this to give everyone a day of healing,” Jesse Robbins of Indigenize OU said.

Congress chair Emily Sample said the goal of passing this resolution is beginning the effort this year and fueling the fire behind Indigenous Peoples Day in the future.

Gray said the endgame of this resolution is to educate people on campus and to instill trust among the communities. 

The resolution passed in GSS with unanimous consent, meaning there wasn't any opposition against the legislation.

The next step for the resolution is the Undergraduate Student Congress, which will also vote on the resolution. If the resolution passes in congress, the next step will be for SGA President Alex Byron to sign it and send it to OU President David Boren.


Read the full agenda for Tuesday's Undergraduate Student Congress meeting, including the Indigenize OU resolution.

Editor's Note: The date of Columbus Day was added to this story at 10:20 a.m. on Monday Sept. 28.

Clarification: The following text was added to this story at 10:44 a.m. on Monday Sept. 28 to add context to the story: 

"The next step for the resolution is the Undergraduate Student Congress, which will also vote on the resolution. If the resolution passes in congress, the next step will be for SGA President Alex Byron to sign it and send it to OU President David Boren."

Correction: This article was updated at 4:07 p.m. on Sept. 28 to reflect that the resolution does not rename Columbus Day, but rather recognizes a new holiday on campus.

Brianna Sims is a journalism freshman and news reporter at the Daily.

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